How Yamaha's MotoGP Engine Lease Program Works
As of 2014, Yamaha will be providing an M1 engine to whomever is willing to better their MotoGP machinery, and according to the Yamaha Factory Racing official, the Japanese manufacturer will be able to provide engines and support for 4 riders, with the perspective of having two teams of two riders being the best option for everybody.
The leased M1 engines will run with the Magneti Marelli ECUs Dorna made mandatory starting from 2014. The difference between the factory and satellite bikes, which will be called MSMA in the future, is that the leased engine will also run Marelli software, compared to factory-developed software of the MSMA machinery.
This in turn, allows non-MSMA bikes to load 24 liters of fuel, versus 20 liters the MSMA entries can race with. Jarvis explained that their lease M1 engines can do 3,000 km (1,865 miles) prior to requiring rebuilding, and that's why the 5 engines they'll provide for each rider annually should cover for the whole season.
Yamaha will offer 3 engines and will rebuild two of these, but in case of a severe crash, they can provide new units upon team request.
Answering the question why not simply selling the engines to the future non-MSMA teams, Lin Jarvis added that Yamaha will put their latest technology in the power plants and this will make the leased M1s similar to what Tech 3 uses in their machines.
"That is top level technology and we don’t want that technology to come into third parties' hands, so that is why we have to lease because at the end of the year we will take back everything. In fact, with the engines we provide, we will do all of the reconditioning of the engines ourselves," the Team Blue official added.
Jarvis admitted that several teams have contacted Yamaha for engine lease, but he did not mention the number or the name of those teams. As for the chassis, he added that the teams themselves must have a contract with Kalex, FTR or Suter for building the frame, and Yamaha has nothing to do with such business.
The non-MSMA teams can get up to 12 engines for a season, but Jarvis said the Yamaha units are far from cheap while offering dependable performance and increasing the number of M1s is only unnecessary costs and would be the exact opposite of Dorna's efforts to cap the racing expenses.
In the end of the MotoGP.com interview, Lin Jarvis said that the end of July might brings news on which teams will race with M1 engines in 2014. It looks like one of them is NGM, anyway, and we'rd liek to hear more from Honda on the leasing theme.